Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake – MLS, Sunday, November 28, 2021
How the hell is Real Salt Lake in the conference semifinals!?
RSL claimed one of the unlikeliest wins in MLS Cup history on Tuesday. Despite failing to register a single shot in both normal and extra time, they ended up beating the Seattle Sounders on penalties.
Next up, the Utah club travels to Children’s Mercy Park to face Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, November 28.
Can Pablo Mastroeni’s men continue their remarkable run? Or will the Wizards flex their muscles on home soil? Keep reading to find my Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake prediction and betting pick.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake Odds
It is no real surprise that Sporting Kansas City (1.60) is the favorite to win this one. I mean, Peter Vermes’ side finished third in the Western Conference – ten points clear of seventh-place Real Salt Lake (4.75).
The big price for the draw (4.00) is bound to attract plenty of attention, especially given how RSL’s previous game panned out.
That said, it is worth noting that SKC and RSL played 68 regular-season games between them this year and only produced a combined total of 13 draws.
Anyway, that’s what the MLS betting sites make of this matchup. Let’s take a closer look at both sides before settling on a prediction for Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake.
What Makes Sporting KC the Heavy Favorite?
The Wizards headed into the playoffs on a run of three straight defeats. In fact, they lost six of their final 12 regular-season games – picking up six wins along the way.
There was a sense that Vermes’ men would struggle when the postseason got underway. As it turned out, they claimed an easy first-round victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Despite seeing just 37% possession, Sporting KC was too strong for Vancouver. Goals from Khiry Shelton, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, and Graham Zusi sealed the deal, while the team’s all-round performance was impressive.
If you have been following Major League Soccer this year, you may be surprised that both Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi failed to get on the scoresheet last time out.
Thanks largely to the exploits of Russell and Salloi, the Wizards were the top scorers in the West this year. They netted 58 goals in 34 regular-season games, averaging 1.7 goals per game.
They may not have the best defensive record in the league, but they are more than capable of outscoring any opponent.
If Vermes’ men pick up where they left off against the Whitecaps, RSL will almost certainly struggle to cope with the free-flowing attacking play that we have come to expect from SKC.
Could RSL Upset the MLS Odds Once Again?
When I say that Real Salt Lake was totally outplayed by Seattle, I mean it.
On Tuesday, the Sounders enjoyed 62% possession and racked up a mammoth 21 shots. Meanwhile, RSL saw just 38% of the ball and failed to record a single goal-scoring attempt.
Yet, after 120 minutes of goalless action, Real somehow managed to triumph 6-5 on penalties.
Let’s not forget that Mastroeni’s men snuck into the playoffs at the eleventh hour, too. They needed a 95th-minute winner from Damir Kreilach to secure a postseason berth on Decision Day.
How much longer can this go on?
Remarkably, Mastroeni’s men didn’t register a single draw across their final 19 regular-season outings – picking up nine wins and ten losses during that period.
Considering the team’s inconsistently in recent months, it is difficult to predict how Real will fare on Sunday.
Sure, Mastroeni’s men will be brimming with belief after dispatching the Sounders. But if they carry on playing the same way, they can’t expect to go deep into the playoffs.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake Prediction
This game could get crazy. Both teams love scoring goals, but neither side knows how to keep the ball out of their own net.
I expect Real Salt Lake to create more goal-scoring opportunities than they did against Seattle. I mean, that isn’t exactly hard. However, I can’t see the visitors outscoring the hosts.
The Wizards have scored at least one goal in 11 of their previous 12 matches. On top of that, they have netted at least two goals in each of their last seven victories.
This is destined to be a high-scoring encounter, but I’m confident that Sporting KC will come out on top.
Sporting KC vs. RSL Betting Pick
Sporting Kansas City to Win1.60
With Russell and Salloi leading the way for the Wizards, I’m confident that they will get the job done on home soil.
If you’re betting on the MLS Cup Playoffs, make sure you check out my previews for the other conference semifinals.